I like very much your enthusiasm about using simple rugged probes and do things in an bold efficient way. But the idea of using nukes seems simply innacceptable for me, for many reason, that I shall not explain in details here, see the Greenpeace forum. Anyway, as others here explained, a high velocity impactor (or a series of several at different distance of only one seismometre) yelds largely enough power to test the inner structure of Europa, as it was tested on the Moon. A simple piece of metal (heated by a chemical reaction, so that it will self-sterilize before hitting) can be released by the main probe and do the job.
More, an atom bomb will produce a large cloud of steam and snow, a temporary atmosphere, as it was experienced with Deep Impact, which is likely to blurr all the observations.
I think, that way of progress inavodably bring to space nukes, military forces.
I m thinking also that one exclusive way for humanity to explore solar system - IS PERMANENT MILITARY OPPOSITION of main states.
Only military use of space can bring to space gigadollars of money.
One way to colonize Selen - 2 opposing military bases with recruits.
Without military we lose space.
Anyway the largest fireballs obtained to date with nukes are still much smaller than Europa crust.
we ll put it sequenatally.
Your remarks as what it is useless to search for life until we know the chemical composition of the water is relevant. But what is relevant too is that the first Europa lander is already many years ahead, so what to speak of a SECOND Europa lander!
its just my IMHO. Im not NASA chairman even im not working in that area.
But I know that space require great energy and great money.
What to conclude, for instance, if we find the PH of lemmon juice?
in that case we must to build acid-resilant hardware. :-) and I think that no life in acid.
I guess, after your name, that you may be Russian (welcome!) so I risk some question: what could be a Russian participation to such a mission? (My idea is that probes will have to be more and more international, for various technical, political and philosophical reasons, and just consider childish the idea of a probe being the flagship of ONE country). Russian hardware has a reputation of being simple and rugged (at least what was not spoiled by blunders in the "soviet" era).
I'm russian by culture and language, but live in Ukraine, and havnt deal with Russia space program, so is not question for me.
From soviet space program I have only some wreckedges of hardware: some littlle solar panels from Soyuz, model of Selen landing module from selen program of 70-years and some acsesouiries like magnesia fuse boxes and photos from Salute space staion with soviet cosmonauts signatures.
I widely greet all international space programs, but I'm think that Russia now must concetrating on Clipper, new Soyuz-rocket, Angara, and sattellites.
dispersing of eforts on 2 or 3 branches - is not good idea.